FC: North Korea | 12/23/10
1: Religion | 12/23/10 | This is an ancient Buddhist temple that now serves as a museum. | It contains a few religious relics but mostly historical artifacts.
2: House | 12/23/10 | 12/23/10 | This is a traditional table setting. | High rise buildings are very popular, they cannot be bought or sold but exchanged.
3: Everyday Life | 12/23/10 | 12/23/10 | 12/23/10 | Families spend their little recreation time with each other in parks like this. | Food gardens near apartments. | Rural Life
4: Education | 12/23/10 | 12/23/10 | Higher education like college is free and you will go a to college based on your skill and knowledge. | Middle schoolers have to attend extra-curricular activities such as singing.
5: Sports/Memorial | 12/23/10 | 12/23/10 | As much as 100,000 performers move in patterns to display a beautiful show. | Outside an art studio displays a statue demonstrating patriotism.
6: Marriage | 12/23/10 | Before couples get married they meet at memorials of their leaders just like this and place flowers in front of it. | Their friends and family join them as well.
7: 12/23/10 | 12/23/10 | This is some of the currency that i had to use to buy certain things like food and clothes from the market. | I found this flag lying in the street after people were protesting.
8: 12/23/10 | Down the street from where i'm staying is a small jewelry store where i bought this bracelet for my mom.
9: 12/23/10 | We used these chop sticks at dinner almost every night instead of the silverware that we use at home.
10: 12/23/10 | In the village most of the little girls play with little dolls like this
11: "We will smash you with a single blow if you attack!" | 12/23/10 | This is when North Korea purposely attacked a South Korean ship.
12: 12/23/10 | This image depicts North Korea's military power to show how strong they are.
13: November 24, 2010 Dear Mom, I am getting used to being here but am still kind of homesick. At first I was nervous because you hear of so much unrest going on here between North and South Korea. I feel very isolated here because the government controls everything and is very strict-everyone is really uptight about getting in trouble. The nation has a strict policy about not letting many visitors into the country and not many North Koreans leave here. So when people see me and the other workers they look at us very strangely. Recently, people are really upset with North Korea because they have threatened to develop nuclear weapons. People tried to negotiate with them but they don’t want to communicate. So I feel weird about being here and sometimes not so safe. We were also involved in the Korean War and people resent Americans. Our policies are a lot different than theirs. Today I went to the open market with some friends. Their markets are not like our super markets. They are small open areas like farmer’s markets with bins of fruits and vegetables. The government still controls the food production here so there is a shortage of a lot of things. There was actually a famine a while back here. Communication is tight here because of the Korean’s fear of propaganda, terrorism, and outside ideas getting in. Sometimes I think these people are very paranoid. I hope everyone is doing well. Say hello to the family and neighbors for me. I love you guys and will write soon. Love, Jake
14: December 13, 2010 Dear Mom, I hope you are well. I miss you and being with you at this time of year. Did you get the tree yet? I miss the holidays and they don’t do much celebrating here because food is scarce and rationed and not used for celebrations. I will try and send some gifts to you but the government keeps a tight grip on what goes out and what comes into the country. Because N. Korea shares borders with Russia and China it is very Communist feeling. It is kind of pretty and rugged here. There are a lot of forests and farms and the land is very hilly and mountainous. I like to go on walks and hikes but I don’t go too far because I don’t feel safe like at home. The highest mountain here is Mount Paektu and it is about 9,000 feet high. I am getting better at communicating with the townspeople but still feel uncomfortable as an American. I see the Korean flag everywhere and miss our stars and stripes. Their flag is also red, white, and blue with a 5 pointed star in the corner on the left. Kim IlSung is the leader and images and symbols of him are everywhere. People wear badges representing this leader. I miss our restaurants and food places. There is a food shortage here and because the government controls and flooding people are limited in what they can buy or sell. Most of the country is rural with very few cities so there should be more food you would think. I miss WAWA and Burger King. I am visiting the cities next week and I will write you then. I miss you. Love, Jake
15: January 5, 2010 Dear Mom, I went on a tour of the capital of N. Korea this week. I went with a group of people from our camp. The city was called P’Yongyang and it is a planned city with a huge statue of Kim, the leader that glares down on the city. The city has ugly buildings, big streets with no cars on them, and is actually really clean. Not like our littered streets in Philly and New York. The side streets and alleys are muddy and dark. Don’t worry mom I don’t go down those. There is a river that runs through the city called the Taedong and it is actually pretty clear. I visited the Children’s Palace, the Art Hall, and the Grand Theater. There is even a Paris style arch in the middle of town. I even saw grand hotels and restaurants and they made me wish we were camped in the city. Many people live in apartments here. Only high officials and military leaders live in houses. There are a lot of bikes here and very few people drive cars. As we traveled through the countryside, I was disturbed to see that government slogans were written or painted everywhere even on the sides of mountains. It is kind of sad. Since the food shortage, people eat very simple diets here. They do not eat much rice anymore and the food is very plain-not like your cooking mom. The food is often rationed. There are small markets where goods are sold. Sugar is scarce and nobody eats candy here. I am missing my Hershey bars. Sugar is actually a delicacy here. That is what I will buy first when I get home. I’ll come home soon and am having a great experience. I will write again. Love, Jake
16: North Korea's Nuclear Program. File photo/Yonhap News Agency, via Associated PressUpdated: Dec. 14, 2010 In October 2006, North Korea became the world's eighth atomic power, conducting an underground nuclear weapons test. Although the country's nuclear program and its development of long range rocket systems has outraged world opinion, it is still unclear whether the country has mastered the ability to deliver a working nuclear weapon. The reclusive dictatorship's dream of a nuclear arsenal dates back half a century, to the years just after the Korean War. Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founder, was acutely aware that Gen. Douglas MacArthur had requested nuclear weapons to use against his country during the conflict, and declassified documents show that he pressed his cold war allies -- first Russia, then China -- for nuclear technology. But it took decades to put together the equipment, and it appears that only relatively recently did the North make a political decision to speed forward. The 2006 weapons test was also the product of more than two decades of diplomatic failure, spread over at least three presidencies. American spy satellites saw the North building a good-size nuclear reactor in the early 1980s, and by the early 1990s the C.I.A. estimated that the country could have one or two nuclear weapons. On May 25, 2009, North Korea announced that it had successfully conducted its second nuclear test, again defying international warnings.
17: China Addresses Rising Korean Tensions By IAN JOHNSON and MARTIN FACKLER Published: November 26, 2010 LinkedinDiggMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink. BEIJING — China engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity on Friday, three days after a North Korean artillery attack on South Korean civilians, but its most public message was directed at the United States, which is about to begin joint exercises with South Korea’s Navy. Yonhap/Reuters A North Korean navy ship off a North Korean village on Friday, seen from South Korea. In a statement from its Foreign Ministry, China warned against “any military acts in our exclusive economic zone without permission,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Friday. But virtually all the waters to the west of the Korean Peninsula, where the United States said the exercises would take place, lie within that zone, and American naval traffic is far from uncommon there. Adding yet more tension to the situation, the North’s state-run media also warned that the maneuvers could push the Korean Peninsula closer to “the brink of war.” The West has hoped that China would use its leverage as the North’s traditional ally to press it to refrain from further attacks, but the Chinese statement on Friday failed even to criticize the North for its shelling on Tuesday of a garrison island that is also home to about 1,350 civilians, mainly fishermen. The attack killed four people.
18: Mullen Criticizes China Over N. KoreaBy MARK McDONALD Published: December 8, 2010 SEOUL, South Korea — The top American military officer lashed out at China on Wednesday for failing to intervene diplomatically with North Korea, as he met with his South Korean counterpart to discuss possible armed responses to future provocations from Pyongyang. European Pressphoto Agency Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, with his South Korean counterpart, General Han Minkoo, at a news conference in Seoul on Wednesday. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sharply criticized Beijing for not condemning North Korea’s artillery barrage against a South Korean island two weeks ago. Two marines and two civilians were killed in the attack, which has frayed diplomatic nerves in the region and brought both militaries to heightened states of alert. “China has enormous influence over the North, and therefore they have a unique responsibility,” Admiral Mullen said after meeting with Gen. Han Min-koo, chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs. “Now is the time for Beijing to step up to that responsibility and guide the North, and indeed the whole region, to a better future.”
19: “Even tacit approval of Pyongyang’s brazenness,” he said, “leaves all the neighbors in the region asking, ‘What’s next?’“ Rather than disavowing the North’s use of military force against civilians, China has instead criticized the response by Washington and Seoul — a large set of military exercises in the Yellow Sea off China and North Korea, drills that were led by the American carrier George Washington and its battle group. General Han called the Nov. 23 attack on Yeonpyeong Island “an intolerable act against humanity,” and said the United States and South Korea had agreed to hold further combined military exercises in the region. A joint statement by the two officers said the drills will be “designed to effectively deter North Korean aggression and strengthen the joint capabilities to respond.” South Korea is holding a nationwide set of artillery drills this week. And the United States and Japan are currently staging their largest-ever war games, including, for the first time, South Korean observers.
20: Report Shows North Korea Has Upgraded Its Military By MARK McDONALD Published: December 30, 2010 The North Korean military, the world’s fourth largest, has bolstered its special forces units since 2008 and has deployed a new battle tank, called the Storm, the South Korean Defense Ministry said Thursday in a policy report. The report, based on a review conducted every two years, said the North’s overall troop strength remained the same, at an estimated 1.1 million. Only China, the United States and India have larger militaries. The South Korean military has 688,000 troops, making it the sixth largest, according to GlobalSecurity.org, a public policy organization. About 28,500 American troops are based in South Korea. Defense officials in Seoul said Thursday that the North had steadily upgraded its capacity and was better able to strike the South in unconventional and unpredictable ways.
21: North Korea Calls for Dialogue With the South By MARK McDONALD Published: December 31, 2010 SEOUL, South Korea --- In an annual New Year’s commentary that is widely seen as an indicator of the country’s political and economic goals for the coming year, North Korea called Saturday for dialogue with South Korea and a relaxation of tensions “as soon as possible.” "If a war breaks out on this land, it will bring nothing but a nuclear holocaust," said the editorial, carried in the leading official newspapers in the North and read on state television there. The commentary, which called for "an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation" with the South, was reported by local news agencies in Seoul. Relations between the Koreas in recent months have been at their most strained since the end of the Korean War in 1953. North Korea allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship in March and later revealed the existence of a modern and previously unknown uranium-enrichment facility.
22: Works Consulted/ Works Cited/ Annotations | Outdoor Picnic. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 2 Dec 2010. This image shows only one of the things that North Koreans do in their free time. Sometimes they go to these parks with their familys to relax. Going to a park is a very common thing to do all over North Korea. Reconstructed Buddhist Temple. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 2 Dec 2010. This image of a Buddhist temple shows that Buddhisim was the main religion of North Korea. Recently in their constitution North Koreans are allowed freedom of religion. The temple serves as a museum that has relics of the history of North Koreas religion. Middle School Students. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 2 Dec 2010. The average middle school student can attend school for free and can choose from only a few extracurricular activities. If a foreign leader or someone important comes they are greeted by students performing their talents.
23: Traditional Table Setting. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 2 Dec 2010. This is an image of a traditional dinner set-up in North Korea. They use all kinds of spices with their foods and soups. Beef is less common in North Korea then in South Korea because of their economy. Arirang Mass Gymnastics Show. 2005. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 2 Dec 2010. These massive gymnastic shows can involve as many as 100,000 people all at once. They work together in synchronized patterns. With these shows they welcome foreign visitors. Wedding Day. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 16 Dec 2010. Young couples visit memorials on their wedding day. City Gardens. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 16 Dec 2010. They grow vegetables near their apartment buildings. Patriotic Sculpture. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 16 Dec 2010. This statue gives the idea of patriotism and nurturing socialist aesthetics.
24: Rural Life. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 16 Dec 2010. Everyday life near the capital of North Korea. Apartment Building. 2004. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 16 Dec 2010. High-rise apartments are something to be proud of and cannot be bought or sold but exchanged. University Library. 2007. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 16 Dec 2010. Higher education in North Korea is free. You go to the college that best suits the things that you know already and your skills. File, Press. "North Korea to Ban Use of Foreign Currency | Cleveland.com." Cleveland OH Local News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather - Cleveland.com. Web. 21 Dec. 2010.
25: "In My Heart - Korea Adoption Bracelet [KIMHB] - $90.00." Sunfluer's Jewelry Designs-Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry. Web. 21 Dec. 2010.
26: Green, Shane. "Nuclear War Unthinkable? North Korea - Russia - China Update." Potassium Iodide Pills Anti-Radiation Pill & Nuclear Emergency FAQ. Radiation Detectors, Meters, Geiger Counters & Potassium Iodine Iodate Pills. Web. 05 Jan. 2011.
27: McDonald, Mark. "Mullen Criticizes China Over N. Korea." New York times. 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 6 Jan. 2011.